The Democratic chairs of two key House committees on Monday filed a legal brief opposing Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s order limiting counties to only one drop-off location for absentee ballots.
Reps. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, and Zoe Lofgren of California, who chairs the Committee on House Administration, said the Republican governor’s plan restricts Texas residents’ ability to vote in the upcoming election.
“Governor Abbott’s unreasonable order to limit ballot drop off locations to one per-county will disproportionally suppress voting options and access to the ballot for millions of Texans,” Ms. Lofgren said in a statement. “This last-minute mandate in the midst of a deadly pandemic is not only ill-considered, but it poses a danger to the health and well-being of Americans seeking to safely exercise their right to vote.”
Earlier this month, Mr. Abbott issued an executive order limiting mail ballot drop-off locations to one per county. Several civil rights and voting rights groups hit back with a lawsuit opposing the plan.
A federal judge had ruled against Mr. Abbott’s plan, but a temporary order from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit halted that decision.
In its order, the federal appeals court said the lower court’s injunction usurped the state’s power to govern itself. That ruling is currently being appealed.
The federal appeals court’s ruling sets up a last-minute legal battle over absentee voting in Texas as early voting is scheduled to begin Tuesday.